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City issues extreme cold weather alert

Toronto has issued an extreme cold weather alert to get homeless people into shelters and safe from the frigid temperatures.

During an alert, the city opens up 172 more beds, orders shelters to relax restrictions and hands out TTC tokens so people can get to the centres.

It takes steps when Environment Canada predicts temperatures of -15 C or lower without wind chill, issues a wind chill warning or predicts extreme weather conditions such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature.

But commuters will likely be spared the flash freeze and poor driving conditions originally expected during the Friday afternoon rush hour.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Friday morning saying the wintry weather will be delayed and arrive in the GTA during the evening.  

“[An Arctic cold front] is expected to reach the traditional snow belts this afternoon and a line from Windsor through Toronto to Ottawa this evening,” the agency said.

“Temperatures will fall fairly quickly after the front’s passage, resulting in potentially icy conditions on untreated roads.”

Environment Canada said accumulating snow could be more of a problem though than slippery roads.

Five to 10 centimetres are expected from Niagara to Hamilton, and about two to four centimetres in the Toronto area.

Residents should expect “bracing winds” approaching 50 km/h, blowing snow and wind chills approaching – 25.

Click here to check the seven-day forecast.